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Pneumoconiosis

Pneumoconiosis is a group of occupational diseases of the lung resulting from prolonged inhalation of industrial dust. The group of pneumoconiosis includes a large number of different types of dust pulmonary fibrosis observed in the mining, coal, engineering and other industries.

Terms of development of pathological processes are different and are determined not only by the amount of dust in the air, the type of dust, but also by the individual sensitivity of the organism, as well as other reasons. The basis of the pathological anatomy of pneumoconiosis is the development of fibrotic changes in the lungs.

There are two main morphological forms of pneumoconiosis: nodular, which is characterized by the development of a large number of silicotic nodules in the lung tissue, consisting of concentrically located hyalinized bundles of connective tissue ; diffuse sclerotic form, which is manifested by a sharp thickening and sclerosis of the alveolar septa, the development of emphysema . Different types of dust can cause differences in the nature of the flow and severity of changes in the lungs. Depending on the composition of the dust, various types of pneumoconiosis can develop, differing in clinical manifestations, severity of the disease and complications.

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Silicosis is more common - the heaviest and most common of pneumoconiosis, resulting from the inhalation of industrial dust containing large amounts of free silica. Silicosis is observed in workers in the mining, coal, engineering, metallurgical, earthenware and a number of other industries. Silicosis is often complicated by pulmonary tuberculosis and the development of pulmonary heart.

Among pneumoconiosis, there is a large group of silicatosis caused by the inhalation of silicate dust, that is, substances containing silicon dioxide not in a free state, but in a state associated with other elements (aluminum, magnesium, iron). Silicates are widely distributed in nature and are used in many industries. The heaviest silicatosis is asbestosis , arising from the inhalation of asbestos dust — silicate containing silica, magnesium oxide, and sometimes calcium oxide and aluminum. Asbestos dust is formed during asbestos mining, its sorting and processing. Asbestosis is characterized by the development of pronounced emphysema , bronchiectasis, and chronic bronchitis. Shortness of breath, cough and chest pain appear much earlier than with silicosis; complication of pulmonary tuberculosis is less common.

Talcosis develops as a result of exposure to talcum dust, widely used in the rubber, textile , perfumery and paper industries. The disease occurs slowly, proceeds more benignly than asbestosis.

Of pneumoconiosis, caused by exposure to metal dust, aluminum, siderosis, and manganoconiosis are of the greatest importance. When inhalation of large quantities of metallic aluminum dust, as well as its other compounds and alloys, alumina can develop. In aluminosis, predominantly diffuse fibrosis of the lungs occurs without the presence of silica, but in the presence of silicon dioxide in the dust, mixed forms of aluminum pneumoconiosis are possible - interstitial-nodular. Aluminum may develop relatively quickly — within 6–12 months — and often occur with symptoms of pulmonary and heart failure. The disease is often accompanied by a lack of appetite, abdominal pain.

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Manganoconiosis (manganoconiosis) can develop as a result of inhalation of manganese dust generated during the extraction or grinding of manganese ores. The course of the disease is relatively benign. Manganoconiosis can be accompanied by diseases of the upper respiratory tract, as well as general chronic manganese intoxication, which is characterized by damage to the central nervous system.

Sideros develops in electric welders, working foundries, polishers of metal products by inhalation of dust containing iron. The disease occurs with a large production experience and is characterized by marked changes on the roentgenogram and minor clinical manifestations. When exposed to dust mixtures of quartz with iron oxide, siderosilicosis, which is characteristic of miners of iron ore mines, may develop.

Anthracosis occurs in coal miners in contact with coal dust. The course of the disease is more benign than silicosis. When inhaling significant amounts of quartz with coal dust, anthracosilicosis develops, the clinical course of which is also relatively benign.

A peculiar kind of pneumoconiosis is byssinosis that occurs during prolonged inhalation of cotton dust, as well as bagassosis that occurs among workers engaged in processing sugarcane. These types of pneumoconiosis are characterized by the presence of bronchitis and emphysema with a very weak development of fibrous tissue in the lungs. Sometimes bronchitis is accompanied by pronounced bouts of bronchospasm, occurring with a clinical picture of bronchial asthma (see).

Some authors also refer to pneumoconiosis as berylliosis , which develops after inhalation of the dust of the beryllium metal, which is used in many industries. Berylliosis can occur acutely (as pneumonia ) or chronically with lesions of the upper respiratory tract and the development of specific granulomatosis in the lungs. Often, berylliosis has a severe course with severe symptoms of bronchitis, bronchiolitis and pneumonia, as well as severe pulmonary and heart failure.

Pneumoconioses (pneumoconioses, from Greek. Pneumon - lung and konia - dust) - a group of lung diseases resulting from the systematic inhalation of dust.